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I am really surprised that I only learned of this thread this very evening.
Although I usually check the current posts everyday, somehow this thread eluded me.

Smack, I truly don't think there is any possible way to define a checklist that would be applicable to everyone.

Some of us won't drive our car for longer than a week without checking the tire pressure and oil level. Some of us will go for months. Some of us don't think about it at all. And if it's wasn't for the fact that we had periodic scheduled maintenance, our cars would stop running someday and leave us stranded on the side of the road.

And then there are those instances where the most diligent and conscientious person imaginable is driving down the road and a huge fuc&ing boulder falls on them and crushes them to pulp.

I guess what I'm saying is that while the theories abound about whether it's better to have a fast boat in order to outrun the nasty stuff or a slow strong boat that can withstand a beating. Or whether a particular item or piece of gear that you hope you will never need is better than another piece of gear that you hope you will never need. Or whether or not to crimp or solder a piece of wire or to do both. Whether to use 5200 or silicone to caulk your ports.
While it's all well and good to debate these and all the other endless fine points of proper seamanship. When the Shi# hits the fan, it's whether or not you can keep a cool head and whether or not you can suck it up and figure out a way to jury rig a rudder. Or repair a gooseneck fitting with a bunch of spare crap that you find in long forgotten cupboards.
The very nature of an emergency is the the fact that often you aren't prepared for it.

My best advice is that one should be adventurous. One should be prudent. One should be realistic. But most importantly, one should be responsible.
That doesn't mean that one shouldn't be willing to take chances or to push the envelope. It just means that one should always be prepared to take responsibility for one's choices and decisions. No excuses, no whining or bitching and no blaming anybody else for one's own shortcomings.

And for what it's worth, people would be amazed at what one can accomplish with a hacksaw and a whole lot of adrenalin. :eek:

And finally, when we finally get to the point where we realize that it's all beyond our control, a strong prayer life is of more comfort than the best epirb. :)
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